Bianca hangs tough, hikes lead to two

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

TARLAC , Philippines —  Bianca Pagdanganan moved in the threshold of a dream SEA Games gold as she hiked her lead to two over Thai Kan Bunnabodee with a four-under 68 after two rounds in women’s individual play of the golf competitions at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here yesterday.

Threatened by three Thais, including fancied Atthaya Thitikul and Pimnipa Panthong, the Asian Games bronze medalist put on a blistering windup the way she did in Day One, birdying three of the last five, including the last two at the front to complete a pair of 34s in a low scoring day at the tight, demanding layout.

Counting her opening 70, the LPGA Tour-bound Pagdanganan pooled a six-under 138, two ahead of Bunnabodee heading to the final round of the 54-hole tournament which the Thais dominated with three golds the last time out in Kuala Lumpur.

“I hit a lot of good shots,” said Pagdanganan, who bucked a bogey at the back with three birdies then fought back from another miscue on No. 3 with a birdie on the fifth before holing out with back-to-back feats.

“Actually, my short game was pretty good,” added the 21-year-old Gonzaga bet who missed just one green in the first round but needed to come up with some recovery shots to save par and hold sway in the face of the Thais’ charge.

Bunnabodee tied Pagdanganan at four-under overall twice but reeled back in both times with a pair of double bogey mishaps though she rebounded with back-to-back birdies from No. 3 to shoot a 69 and keep the leader within sight at 140.

Panthong also carded a 68 after a 74 and grabbed solo third at 142 and a spot in the final group with Pagdanganan and Bunnabodee in what promises to be a shootout for the coveted medal that could mean so much for the 2017 Philippine Ladies Open champion.

The Phl men’s squad made some push but Sean Ramos, the best scorer for the squad with a 69 Wednesday, slowed with a 71, his 140 dropping him four strokes off Pichaikool with 18 holes left.

Aidric Chan bounced back from a 74 with a 68 but still six shots off at 142 while Carl Corpus also rallied from a two-over start with a 69 for a 143.

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